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3 Sep 2017 Community

Record Breaking turnout at Annual Kirkwood Trail Run

Over 300 runners took to the trail last Sunday to help raise thousands of pounds for Kirkwood Hospice in its 30th Anniversary year. 

A record 372 runners signed up for Kirkwood Hospice's annual 5k and 10k Trail Run, which took place at the Leeds Road Sports Complex in Huddersfield on Sunday. 

Click here to view the full results

A cool and overcast morning created the perfect conditions for the runners, who turned out in force to help the Hospice raise thousands of pounds for patient care. 

Crowds began to arrive early for the Sunday morning dash, which was once again sponsored by The Pink Link and The Woodman Inn at Thunderbridge. After signing in and collecting their chip timers, runners of all ages and abilities were put through an energetic warm up by the Kirklees Active Leisure team. 

The starting pistol sounded at 10.30am. With the race quickly spreading out, the more experienced club runners stretched their legs as they went in search of a fast time. 

The first runner to cross the line was Simon Cousthey, clocking an impressive time of 34m 47s. He was followed by Ed Highland and Ian Dixon who finished in 35m 19s and 37m 07s respectively. 

The first female over the line was Ashleigh Greenwood, of Stadium Runners, in a time of 43m 50s. She was closely followed by Jennifer Hopkinson in 45m 51s and Sally Caton in 46m 05s. 

Whilst the scenic and flat course gave many a great opportunity to grab a personal best, for others it was simply about taking part and supporting the Hospice. What was clear for the hundreds of spectators to see was the sheer physical effort put in by the participants, who strained every sinew and pushed their bodies to the limit for the cause. 

Michael Haigh, of Kirkheaton, took on the 10k challenge to remember a loved one. 

"I took part today in memory of Brenda." said Michael, whose wife sadly died exactly nine weeks ago on the day of the race. 

"It's been hard, but this is the most enjoyable Sunday I have had since she died."

Brenda had been supported by Kirkwood's Community Palliative Care team and as well as taking on the Trail Run, Michael will be setting himself a big challenge to raise money for the Hospice in honour of his late wife. 

"There were a few things that Brenda really wanted to achieve, but sadly never got the chance to, so I've challenged myself to take on some of the things on her list for her - starting with a wing walk!"

The now well established run continues to grow year on year and event founder, John Philpott, who started the event in 2012 in memory of his late wife Joanne, was delighted to see so many people turn out to take on the challenge. 

He said: "Last year around 250 completed the Trail Run and this year we've had over 370 enter. That's really great. 

"We've had so much help today from all the volunteers. The Holmfirth Harriers have been a massive help too, providing lots of marshals, as have the local cadets. It's been a fantastic day."

Sunday's event marked the seventh anniversary of Joanne's death and the Trail Run has raised raised thousands for Kirkwood Hospice in her memory. 

"Today's event has fallen on the exact day that Joanne died. My four children have all run today. Even my granddaughter' run, she did the 5k and she's only five. I'm really proud of her."

"Over £50,000 has been raised since the inception of the race now, which is amazing."

Kirkwood Hospice would like to thanks event sponsors The Pink Link and The Woodman Inn, Thunderbridge. Thanks also to Kirklees Active Leisure and all the volunteers who have helped to support the event. 

The full list of times is available to view via the Kirkwood Hospice website at: www.kirkwoodhospice.co.uk or at: my2.raceresult.com/62331/

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